What are Dental Implants?
If you have lost a tooth through injury, disease, or some other means, you have probably considered various options for replacement. One such option is a dental implant. But what are dental implants, and why would you consider getting them instead of the more traditional options such as dentures? Here’s some information that may help you make up your mind.
Dental implants: The Closest Thing to Real Teeth
A dental implant is probably the closest thing to having an actual real tooth. Essentially, a stand-alone base is implanted into your bone, and a ceramic “tooth” is attached to the base. Once the process is completed, the dental implant looks, feels, and operates exactly like a real tooth.
Procedure for Installing Dental Implants
Of course the exact route your dentist takes to install the implant will vary depending on a number of factors, including your health, the condition of your jawbone, and other things, but generally speaking an implant is installed by drilling a hole in your jawbone.
After the hole has been created, your dentist will install a small metal rod that will act exactly like the root of a real tooth. After giving your body time to heal around the rod—essentially causing it to be grafted into the jawbone—an individual ceramic tooth will be attached to the rod. This tooth will be virtually indistinguishable from a regular tooth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are a number of reasons to consider getting a dental implant as opposed to dentures, a bridge, or some similar artifice. A dental implant is the most durable option out there, and the fact that the “root” of the “tooth” is anchored directly into your jaw will help it to look and operate exactly like a real tooth.
Further, because a dental implant mimics the look, feel, and function of a real tooth, you won’t have to spend time learning how to clean or maintain it. Just go about your normal oral hygiene routine, brushing, flossing, and so on, and the dental implant will last for years and years.
You will occasionally need to have your dentist monitor the dental implant to ensure that it is holding up to the demands of everyday life, but this can be done as part of your routine dental checkups. Unless you detect an issue such as a crack or chip in the porcelain—which is highly unlikely, given how durable dental implants can be—there is usually no need to make a special visit for maintenance of your implant.
Finally, if you are considering cosmetic dentistry, you should be aware that a dental implant is among the most realistic of your options in terms of appearance. Once the procedure is completed, only you and your dentist will know which teeth are real, and which are dental implants.
Talk with Your Dentist
If you are considering getting a dental implant, it’s important that you understand the procedure. Here at South Valley Oral and Facial Surgery we are happy to take time and answer your questions. Contact us today and let’s talk!